Nathan Rothenbaum ParadigmLast changed 3/2 9:04A CDT
Oak Park River Forest – Debater 2008-2012
Trinity University – Debater 2012-2016
University of Georgia – Coach 2016 – Current
My favorite part of debate is that you, the debater, determines what debate is. I will do my best to evaluate the substance of your arguments. Three things to vastly improve your speaks when I am in the back: 1.) Recognizing arguments are rarely conceded. 2.) The first sentence of your 2ar/2nr should strive to be the same sentence I use when I tell the other team why they lost. 3.) Your CX strategy is better served by getting your opponent to say things and using those things in your following speeches than by posturing or trying to make them look foolish.
*I am more concerned with tech over truth, but also recognize that “good” tech needs to (at least) look true from afar.
*If it isn’t in the tag, then the 2ac didn’t “drop it”
*It is possible to win terminal defense – but usually even the most sympathetic read of an argument is far from terminal. Terminal defense is also significantly harder to sell me on if we are entering a "try or die" situation - not impossible, but much harder.
*A comment on the Kritik. Your "alt cause" Kritik, or "No solvency" kritik is not persuasive. It only matters if you win your alt solves it, but your alt usually isnt trying to solve your alt-causes to the affs method so these links are totally irrelevant. I find these kritiks a chore to listen to and find them completely uncompelling. Aff teams, tell me how you solve your specific impact and tell me how the neg has no chance of overcoming the alt causes they complain about and your good to go. Usually in these debates there is a lot of confusion for both teams that stem from the framework debate. If you win the framework debate, not only will it make the alt finally make sense, but it'll let you outweigh the aff. Vice versa for the aff. I don't really understand the "They get the K, we get our Aff" permutation. What does it mean you "get your aff" vs their K? What are you getting?
*Reading an untopical aff is not a death sentence. I generally find myself personally persuaded by framework, but find that when I vote aff the neg is shit at going for it or the aff gets away with murder in characterizing "what" the debate is about.
*Smaller debates are better. The more argumentative moving pieces, the worse the debate ends up being. Collapse down in your 2nr or 2ar to 3-4 arguments and you will make it way easier for me to vote for you and explain to the other team why I voted.
*Tell me what happens if you win your argument. Don't just assume I know. If you tell me explicitly, then I'll tell the other team that also in the RFD.
*Ev quality is great. Your explanation of that evidence is much more important. A good argument beats a bad card every time.
*I will only flow the debater whose speech it is. You are welcome to prompt your partner to say what you want them to say, but its their time to speak and this is a team activity, not a solo enterprise. So, if your style is to make arguments when its your partner's designated speech time, adjust accordingly.
*If you are wondering if a CP is cheating it probably is (my default position is that CP's must use the same actor as the aff)
*I think CX is very important for controlling the spin of a position
*I think of the 1ar as the same way I think of the 1NR – ideally a rebuttal, but capable of doing some quasi-constructive things.
*Condo is ok. I find myself more persuaded by the aff side of arguments but, unfortunately, not often enough to vote the neg down.
*I would greatly prefer it if you didn't make the debate *about* the other debaters, or tried to make my ballot a referendum on your competitors. Making them lose because of the things they did is fine, telling me that I should vote them down for the people that they are... I won't like nearly as much.
If you do not like my rfd, feel free to post-round me. I won’t take any offense. I was always a hot head as a debater, and it won't ever hurt my perception of you if you are equally(which is probably impossible) as hot-headed as me. If you help me understand how you saw the debate, there a more than zero chance it'll pay off in some non-quantifiable way sometime in the future.